Rachel Wright lived and worked in Hong Kong for many years, and has also enjoyed living and working in Beijing. She has written on education and social issues for the South China Morning Post.
As you become more familiar with Hong Kong, you’ll develop your own personal stamping ground for shopping – no two people I have spoken to have exactly the same preferences. I’ve included here a selection of shops, malls and streets devoted to particular merchandise that will hopefully act as a useful starting point. The general consensus is that you can get pretty much anything you want, but you may have to hunt for it. To locate a phone number, call directory enquiries free on 1081, or visit www.timway.com.hk or www.yp.com.hk. The Yellow Pages website also has a handy ‘location search’ facility. Reductions are best found during Shopping Festival (end of June through August) and Winterfest (late November to January 1).
It’s worth looking out for shops that display the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme logo (see the colour plate section for the QTS logo). If you do encounter problems, give the Consumer Council a call on 2929 2222. The idea that the ‘customer is king’ has not caught on here and generally speaking it is difficult to return goods that have been opened or worn, or if the delay between buying the item and bringing it back is too long. Always check what ‘right of return’ you have before you buy. Large department stores offer goods at a fixed price, but in smaller shops, as with markets, bargaining is allowed.
Hong Kong has several large shopping malls, many of which are plush marble-floored buildings decorated with orchids and water features. They are popular with expatriates and locals because they provide a mix of entertainment, dining and shopping options close together, and are air-conditioned havens from the hot and humid summer weather. The major malls include:
- Harbour City (www.harbourcity.com.hk) is accessed from Ocean Terminal next to the Star Ferry Pier or from the upper reaches of Canton Road – an eight-minute walk from TST MTR. The mall includes City’super and Wellcome supermarkets.
- Festival Walk (www.festivalwalk.com.hk), above Kowloon Tong MTR station, includes a ParknShop superstore.
- Times Square (www.timessquare.com.hk), above Causeway Bay MTR, should be avoided on Saturdays and Sundays if you dislike large crowds. It includes ParknShop and City’super supermarkets.
- IFC Mall (www.ifc.com.hk) above Central’s Airport Express Station is the newest mall and includes a City’super supermarket.
- Pacific Place (www.pacificplace.com.hk) includes Great supermarket. Access is from Admiralty MTR station and via the elevated walkway from Central’s Harcourt Road.
- Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa in Hunghom (www.whampoaworld.com). Not strictly speaking a mall, this huge shopping hub is divided into Fashion World, Treasure World, Screen World and Home World. A free air-conditioned shuttle service can ferry you between worlds.
- Cityplaza (www.cityplaza.com.hk) and the interconnected Kornhill Plaza are located near Taikoo MTR station. They include the Japanese department stores Uny and Jusco.
All the malls have, or are very close to, a cinema. Festival Walk and Cityplaza have ice rinks. Other amenities such as parking, clean public toilets, banks and ATM machines are also conveniently available. The malls are enlivened by occasional performances of live music, model shows, art displays and advertising stands.
Below is an A–Z listing of the main types of shopping available in Hong Kong. Services are mentioned under the relevant chapter.
Hong Kong has a thriving antiques business, mostly centred around the Hollywood Road neighbourhood. For late nineteenth and twentieth century European and Scandinavian art and antiques, go to Manks in Quarry Bay (www.manks.com; tel. 2522 4115). At the bottom of Hollywood Road, past the Man Mo Temple and down the steps, is Cat Street, an interesting place to browse for fortune sticks, curios, posters and second-hand household bric-a-brac. Antique furniture can also be found at warehouse-style shops such as Shamabala (2/F, Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau; www.shambala.com.hk). Wah Tung China Ltd (G/F and 1/F, Lee Roy Commercial Building, 57–59 Hollywood Road; www.wahtungchina.com) is well known for its reproduction ceramics and porcelain.
The shops offer a wide selection of genuine antiques and reproductions, including furniture, silk fragments, ceramics, fossils and sculpture, for the connoisseur and the casual browser. Serious acquisitions can be made at Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, both in Central.
Genuine antiques are accompanied by Oxford Test certificates that establish the age of the piece; several tests should be performed at different sites on a large object. Perhaps most importantly, find a dealer who you trust – there is no professional body you can contact, so it’s very much a case of caveat emptor. Reproduction antiques are advertised as such by reputable stores and are good value for money, but make sure that they have been properly made: reproduction lacquerware, for example, is very popular, but hastily prepared lacquer can crack in Hong Kong’s humidity.
Consider how you will care for your antique once it is installed in your home. Hong Kong’s humidity can damage silks, leather and wood, so take professional advice.
It is always good to keep these things in mind when thinking about wood or leather gift ideas.
Many art galleries reside in the neighbourhood of Hollywood Road, a stone’s throw from the Mid-Levels escalator. Online links to many of the galleries are provided at www.hongkongartwalk.com/galleries.html. Modern and traditional Chinese art and other Asian art is exhibited for sale at galleries such as Schoeni Art Gallery (21–31 Old Bailey Street; www.schoeni.com.hk), John Batten Gallery (64 Peel Street) and Karin Weber Gallery (20 Aberdeen Street; www.karinwebergallery.com). John Batten advises clients collecting contemporary art to take basic precautions, such as tracing the ownership back to the artist to prove the originality of the art, doing research in magazines such as Asian Art News and Art Asia Pacific, which can be informative, and taking the time to network with other art collectors and find art dealers who are honest. He says:
Expats are driven by sentiment, so when they’re in Hong Kong they want something to remind them of their stay here.
This usually means that expats buy Chinese or Vietnamese art – the latter is usually a lot more expensive to buy here than in Hanoi – and for a lot of Asian art, there’s no secondary market. Well-established overseas artists occasionally mount exhibitions and because they’re not well-known here, prices may be lower.
The main benefit of buying art in Hong Kong is that there’s no VAT, meaning that prices are 17.5% less than what they would be in the UK, for example. Also, there are no import duties or taxes applied to art brought into Hong Kong. It’s perfectly acceptable to bargain with an art dealer, and depending on situations sometimes as basic as the current financial status of the artist, you may be able to pick up a good deal. Most small art galleries, like Batten’s, take a 40% commission, with the rest going to the artist.
Down the road, Picture This (603B, 6/F, 9 Queen’s Road; www.picturethiscollection.com; tel. 2525 2820) stocks a large range of antique maps, vintage film and travel posters and early photographs. Other art dealers can be found in Prince’s Building (including Alisan Fine Arts) and Pacific Place (Galerie du Monde). Local ceramics studios include Pottery Workshop (2 Lower Albert Road, Central); glass studios include Gaffer Studio Glass (17/F, Hing Wai Centre, Aberdeen; www.gafferstudioglass.com; tel. 2521 1770).
Stanley Market is another popular place for picking up art and Asian kitsch. Besides selling prints and original watercolours, oil paintings and pen-and-ink drawings by well-known local artists, shops such as Wong’s Art display oil reproductions of European and Chinese art. At the far end of the market, two or three home-grown artist-entrepreneurs accept commissions to copy any picture in oils. They have catalogues of Chinese, Vietnamese and Burmese art for you to select from. Prices vary from about $500 for a smaller work to a few thousand dollars, depending on size, and may take several weeks to complete.
If you require a picture or small object to be framed, Queen’s Road East in Wanchai is studded with framers that can put together a shadow box in less than a week. Shadow boxes are similar to a frame, but have depth and are often used to display objects such as ‘lotus slippers’. They are a beautiful way to display any personal items. On one occasion when I was collecting a Pyrex dome made for a Japanese doll that my parents have, a customer was picking up a finished shadow box that proudly displayed memorabilia from her time as a press correspondent in Sarajevo. The framers also sell posters and, occasionally, black and white photographs.
Traditional Chinese crafts (for example, gold ornaments, jade sculptures, cloisonné, ceramics and silks) can also be bought at Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium (301–309 Nathan Rd and Peking Road in TST), and Chinese Arts and Crafts (Star House, TST; 26 Harbour Road, Wanchai; Queen’s Road, Central and Pacific Place, etc.).
Artland (3/F, 301–7 Lockhart Road, Wanchai; www.artland.com.hk; tel. 2511 4845) stocks a large range of acrylic and oil paints, pastels, colouring pencils, paper, card and artist’s tools. Sam & Company (38 Stanley Street, Central; tel. 2523 0338) has a reasonable selection of paints, paper and pencils, and staff are very helpful. The basement of the Shenzhen Book Centre (Shenzhen) also reputedly has good-quality cheap materials for Chinese art.
There is very little standards-checking of products available in Hong Kong, so exercise caution when buying cots and other baby products. Eugene Group has shops stocking bottles, nappies, pushers and so on around Hong Kong (Shop S8-S12, 2/F, North Tower, Kornhill Plaza, Quarry Bay and Shop B215–217, Basement 2, New World Centre, TST, etc.). Mothercare (3/F Prince’s Building) and Bumps to Babes (5/F Pedder Building) are popular with mums.
Fragrant Harbour is a magazine widely available at bookshops and magazine stores, and is probably your best first port of call if you plan to buy a boat in Hong Kong. It also has advertisements from parts suppliers, boat fumigators, clothing merchants and hiring companies. The South China Morning Post lists boats for sale in the classified ads on a Sunday, or try www.asiaxpat.com. You can also contact yacht clubs and marinas (see Chapter Nineteen, ‘Sports’) to get leads on boats for sale. Discovery Bay residents can find second-hand boats for sale listed at www.lantauboatclub.com.
A large selection of general English and Chinese books and magazines can be found at Page One (Basement One, Times Square, D’Aguilar Street in Central, Festival Walk and Harbour City Level 3). Bookazine and Dymocks stock a smaller selection of general books and imported newspapers. Local bookshops worth browsing include:
- Commercial Press (Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay and 3/F, Star House, TST, etc.);
- Cosmos Books (30 Johnson Road, Wanchai, etc.);
- Swindon Bookstore (13–15 Lock Road, TST, etc.);
- Hong Kong Book Centre (25 Des Voeux Road, Central, etc.); and
- Joint Publishing (D’Aguilar Street, etc.).
Most of the universities have campus bookstores stocking textbooks. Art books can be purchased at Tai Yip bookstores (branches include 1/F, Central Library, Causeway Bay and Hong Kong Museum of Art, TST) and Kelly & Walsh (Pacific Place, One Exchange Square, etc.).
Bloomsbury Books (1/F, Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Central) stocks new and second-hand law and business titles, as well as general books. Online booksellers Paddyfield (www.paddyfield.com) also have a shop at 245–251 Hennessy Road, Wanchai – or try www.yesasia.com, a regional online bookseller. Skywalker Children’s Books (2310 Dominion Centre, 43–59 Queen’s Road East; www.skywalkerhk.com; tel. 2521 5222) sells imported books.
Christian books are sold in the St John’s Cathedral Bookshop, which also specializes in children’s books, and the Catholic Centre Bookshop (2/F, Grand Building, 15–18 Connaught Road, Central; www.catholiccentre.org.hk).
Parenthes`es stocks French-language books, novels and videos (4/F Duke of Wellington House, 14 Wellington Street, Central; tel. 2526 9215).
For second-hand books, check out the auction site www.red-dots.com – some of this site is in Chinese – or visit book and CD shop Flow (40 Lynd-hurst Terrace, Central; tel. 2964 9483 and 14 Wan King Path, Sai Kung; tel. 8104 0822). Other second-hand stores include Collectables (11 Queen Victoria Street, Central; tel. 2559 9562).
Detailed maps of the Hong Kong countryside and trails as well as official government publications are available from ESD Life Bookstore (http://www.bookstore.esdlife.com/eng/default.asp).
Brand new cars are prohibitively expensive in Hong Kong due to the hefty import duties, so most expats choose to buy a second-hand car. One of the largest showrooms is Automall (B1, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, beneath the Hyatt Hotel; www.auto22.com), which has over 800 new and second-hand cars, and provides information and service on all cars. The website also has information on new car launches, test drive reports and car-related events. Besides buying direct from the showrooms, second-hand cars are advertised on Sundays in the South China Morning Post and via a host of websites, including www.geoexpat.com/classifieds/.
Expat Motor Services Ltd (Lot 8SB, DD212, Units T8–R4, Hong Kin Road, Sai Kung; www.expatmotors.com; tel. 9674 7454) and European Motors Ltd (Po Tung Road, Sai Kung; www.europeanmotors.com.hk; tel. 2641 8098/9027 4846) buy and sell second-hand cars.
In Prince’s Building, Hobby Horse (Shop 209; www.allinafamily.com/hh/index.htm) and The One Stop Party Shop (Shop 211; www.theonestoppartyshop.com) stock a selection of gifts, toys and party paraphernalia. Online party planners www.borntoparty.com.hk and Party Caramba (1101 Tung Chai Building, 86–90 Wellington Street, Central; www.partycaramba.com; tel. 2851 8320) sell cards and cakes, offer bouncy castle hire, costume hire, partyware and piñatas, and provide advice on planning your party.
Imported children’s toys are generally expensive in Hong Kong and so the selection is smaller than you’d get back home. ToysRUs is popular and has seven stores – check their website, www.toysrus.com.hk, for store locations. Toys Club is also popular (Unit 901, Horizon Plaza, Apleichau; 15/F, 8 Queen’s Road Central; www.itoysclub.com). In Causeway Bay, Sogo’s Childrens’ Floor has a large selection of games and gifts for children, The Disney Store (Shop 501, Times Square) and A Barrel of Monkeys (Sinoplaza, Causeway Bay) also have a good selection.
Learning toy shops include:
- Wise Kids Educational Toys (Shop 134, Pacific Place; G/F Hennessy Centre, 500 Hennessy Rd, Causeway Bay; Shop B233, New World Centre, 20–24 Salisbury Rd, TST, etc.);
- Stepping Stones (Rm 1002 Century Square, 1–13 D’Aguilar St, Central); and
- Children’s Corner (Rm 601, 6/F, 1 Hysan Ave, Causeway Bay).
There is a wide choice of clothing of all styles in Hong Kong, but women who are taller than 5’7 or larger than a UK size 12 may find it difficult to source fashionable, dressy clothes, especially blouses and trousers, and may need to opt for having things tailor-made – as will men who are taller than six foot. Marks & Spencer (28 Queen’s Road, Central; Times Square; Harbour City) stocks larger sizes, as do the small shops in Grand Progress Building (58–62 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong) run by American expat women for expat women. Other shops stocking women’s smart casual wear up to size 16 include Episode (30 Queen’s Road, Shop 320–321 Times Square; Gateway 11 Harbour City and 4–6 Hankow Road, TST) and French Connection (Shop 501 Times Square; Shop 119 Pacific Place; Shop 325 New Town Plaza, Shatin, etc.).
The same goes for shoe size. For women who are larger than a UK size 6, the range of fashionable shoes is limited. Nine West (Pacific Place; Harbour City) is one of the few high street stores that stock some styles up to size 42. For men, sports and leather shoes up to a UK size 12 are readily available. Although it is possible to have shoes made here, in practice it’s cheaper and easier to stock up when you’re home for a holiday.
Local Hong Kong stores U2, Baleno, Bossini and Giordano produce simple, well-made casual wear in great fabrics and are excellent value. Mango (Harbour City, Pacific Place, etc.), Zara (IFC Mall), Uniqlo and Esprit are also good options for expat women. They are comparatively cheap and likely to have up to size 12/14.
Upmarket children’s clothes can be found at department stores such as Seibu (Pacific Place; 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, and Langham Place, Mongkok) and Sogo (555 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay). French label Jacadi sells clothing for children up to 12 years old (Prince’s Building, Lee Gardens 2, Sogo Causeway Bay; Shop G05, Ocean Terminal, TST). Other good quality local stores stocking kids’ clothes include Giordano, La Compagnie des Petits (2/F, Windsor House, Causeway Bay; Shop 251, Cityplaza, etc.) and Chickeeduck (Shop 103–104, Vicwood Plaza, 199 Des Voeux Rd; Shop 248, City Plaza; Shop 909, 9/F, Times Square, etc.). Eco-Mama sells second-hand baby goods and clothes (A2, 7/F, Tung Chong Factory Building, 653–5 King’s Road, North Point).
Clothes markets and sample/export stores
For inexpensive clothing, check out the export shops in Wanchai Road, which also do sample bras and lingerie. Fa Yuen Street market (Prince Edward MTR) has over 60 small shops selling assorted men’s, women’s and children’s wear – you can often find clothes by French Connection, Gap, Debenhams and other UK/US high street brands, as well as outsize clothes. Always ask to try on before you buy, although some shops won’t allow this. Just a bit further south is Ladies Street Market, which gets going in the late afternoon and runs till late in the evening. Here you can find men’s shirts, T-shirts, bags, belts, toys and other accessories. A smaller version of Ladies Street can be found in The Lanes (Li Yuen Streets East and West, opposite Lane Crawford in Central). Market locations are shown on city maps.
Casual wear, linen clothing, hats, bags, jewellery, sports shoes and much more can also be found on the south of the island at Stanley Market.
Designer wear and designer outlets
All of the famous labels are here – Gucci, Prada, Boss, Armani, Hermes, Mui Mui, Chanel, Vivienne Tam, Kate Spade, La Perla, Pal Zileri, Hilditch & Key, Gieves & Hawkes, etc., as well as mid-priced designers such as Max Mara, Max & Co, Sportsmax, iBlues, Agnes B, Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren, and CK. Department stores such as Seibu (Pacific Place; 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay and Langham Place, Mongkok), Harvey Nicholls (Landmark), Lane Crawford (Pacific Place; Times Square; Canton Road; IFC Mall) and Joyce (23 Nathan Rd, TST and New World Tower, 16 Queen’s Road Central) play host to high-end fashion concessions. Lee Gardens 1 and 2, in Causeway Bay, and Style House (Park Lane Hotel) are also where you’ll find a concentration of topflight designer brands.
It’s worth waiting for the summer and Christmas sales, when clothes are often discounted by 40% or more, but there are other ways to pick up a bargain.
These include designer outlet stores in:
- the Pedder Building (discounted Anne Klein, second-hand Chanel, Gucci, etc.);
- Kaiser Estate (Hung Hom – for detailed information and maps click on the Hong Kong Yellow Pages website, http://www.yp.ypdomain.com/mv_templates/SHP/mv_ypshopping_e.html); and
- Dickson Warehouse, which deals in fashion and sportswear (Kowloon MTR station, etc.).
Other outlet stores include:
- Nike Outlet (Shop 1, 1/F, Enterpise Square, 9 Sheung Yuet Road, Kowloon Bay);
- IT Sale Shop (3/F, Silvercord Shopping Centre, TST); and
- Esprit Outlet (www.esprit.com.hk).
Second-hand designer shoes and handbags can be found at Milan Station in Causeway Bay (and other ‘stations’ around Hong Kong).
Evening and bridal wear
For evening and bridal wear, there is a cluster of upmarket shops around the Soho and Lan Kwai Fong areas, including:
- Brides and Gowns (www.bridesandgowns.com; 8/F Asia Pacific Centre, 8 Wyndham Street), which stocks Australian and Hong Kong-made designs;
- The Wedding Shop (4/F On Lan Street, 11–15 On Lan Street), which stocks Italian labels;
- Anaiss (301 Tak Woo House, 17–19 D’Aguilar Street), which stocks London and Parisian labels; and
- Chimes (7/F, 1 Lan Kwai Fong).
On Kowloon side, Kimberly Plaza in Kimberly Road, TST, is devoted to wedding dress shops or try the wedding shops close to Prince Edward MTR station.
Eye wear is a key fashion statement in Hong Kong. Designer opticians include Alain Mikli (D’Aguilar Street, Central), Senses Optik (28 Wellington Street) or the more reasonably priced Optical 88, which has stores around the city. A free eye test is provided with any purchase of glasses or contact lenses. All types of contact lenses are available in the city, including coloured and disposable.
There are several fancy dress shops that sell or hire costumes. Festival and Party (Shop 30, Basement, Queen’s Theatre, 31 Queen’s Road, Central; tel. 2529 5921) is open from midday. Costumes in House of Sirens (23 Staunton Street; tel. 2526 2877) are flamboyant and sexy. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts also hires out costumes to the public (call Wardrobe on 2584 8574).
Pregnant mums can find stylish maternity wear at:
- Formes (8 On Lan Street, Central; G/F, 19 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay and Shop 230B, Ocean Centre);
- Bumps to Babes (5/F, Pedder Building); and
- Mothercare (3/F, Prince’s Building; Shop 137, Ocean Terminal, TST; 2/F, Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay).
Other maternity wear shops can be found in Melbourne Plaza (33 Queen’s Road, Central), including Mother’s Work, Mother Court and Wendy’s Maternity Wear.
Second-hand and vintage clothes
For second-hand clothes, check out www.asiaxpat.com.hk or www.red-dots. com – note that some of the latter site is in Chinese. Castaways Charity Shop, run by St John’s Cathedral, also sells quality second-hand clothing. There hasn’t traditionally been much of a market in Hong Kong for vintage clothes because of negative associations with the dead, although one place that sells 1960s and 1970s clothes is Beatniks (221 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay).
Cold weather clothes or outdoor wear can be found cheaply at Stanley Market or at a dedicated outdoor sports shop such as Camping Protrek (46 Hennessy Road, Wanchai; www.protrek.com.hk). There is a good selection of sportswear (including swimwear) in Mitsukoshi and Sogo (both in Causeway Bay), and the sports shops in Times Square (6/F, Leisure & Pleasure) or Dickson Warehouse outlets (details above).
A collection of small sports shoes and sportswear shops can also be found at the Sports Market in Sai Yee Street, Mongkok (see city maps).
Tailoring in Hong Kong does not come cheap, in spite of the many tailors operating in and around the Humphrey’s Avenue area. Many people head over the border clutching Ellen McNally’s Shop in Shenzhen, which gives useful hints on finding tailors and has floor plans of the whole of Lowu Shopping Plaza – chock-full with the latest Grade A and B imitation Tod’s bags, Gucci belts, Cartier watches, Oakley sunglasses, jewellery, cloth and Chinese crafts.
For local tailors, get recommendations from a friend. I’ve been happy using Theresa at Tailor & Alteration (1/F, Teda Building, 87 Wing Lok Street; tel. 2543 6328). She charges around $700 for a summer dress before material – you should buy material from a wholesaler. There are also plenty of alteration tailors in Melbourne Plaza (33 Queen’s Road, Central).
To buy linen cloth, silk, beads, ribbon, feathers and buttons and other materials in Hong Kong, head to the Cheung Sha Wan Road area in Sham Shui Po, which is lined with wholesale merchants. Expat shoppers have used:
- Ming Sang Button Manufactury (G/F, 114 Nam Cheong Street;
- Luen Fung Bead & Gems Company (G/F, Yu Chau Street); and
- Lung Moon Elastic Weaving (G/F, 126 Nam Cheong Street).
Closer to downtown, you can obtain cloth by the yard from one of the many sellers upstairs in the Western Market in Sheung Wan, which closes at 7:00 pm; try the friendly and knowledgeable Rowena at the Yau Fat Textile Company (Shop 105–6, Western Market, 323 Des Voeux Road, Central; tel. 2850 5169). A large selection of traditional Chinese designs on silk is available from CRC Department Store (Whampoa Garden, Hunghom), and you can buy ribbons, feathers and beads from the stalls on the steps of Pottinger Street. Nearby Wing Kut Street and Gilman’s Bazaar are lined with haberdashery shops, scarf-sellers and so on.
Shanghai Tang (Pedder Street) is famous as much for the beautifully fragrant scent, which spills out onto surrounding pavements, as for its bold patterned silks. It’s all the rage with wealthy tourists, but I’ve yet to find something off-the-peg that comes close to fitting me properly. When I’ve saved up, I’ll use their tailors.Siriporn (47A Caine Road) has Thai silks and tailoring.
For teens and trendies, the best shopping area is undoubtedly Causeway Bay, with its many independent boutiques and trashy-glam cubby-holes. A mini-Causeway Bay can be found on the Kowloon side in the Granville Road/Carnarvon Road area of TST. Local Japanese-influenced stores IT and LCX (Ocean Terminal) are the preferred shopping haunt of local teens; D-Mop, Diesel and Kitterick (Central and Causeway) are also popular brands.
The main shopping malls for hardware and software are:
- Wanchai Computer Centre (Wanchai MTR Exit A1);
- 298 Computer Zone (298 Hennessey Road, Wanchai);
- Mongkok Computer Centre (8 Nelson Street);
- Star Computer City (Star House, 3 Salisbury Road, TST);
- Golden Building Shopping Centre (146–156 Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po); and
- Windsor House (10/F–13/F).
Cosmetics and skincare
Your favourite brand of face cream will probably be here, but it might take some time to locate. If it’s high end, start with Joyce (16 Queen’s Road Central; 38 Russell Street, Causeway Bay), which stocks a number of international skin care brands and is constantly updating its beauty lists. Individual concept stores include:
- Bobbi Brown (Festival Walk);
- Lancôme (Festival Walk);
- Shu Uemura (Pacific Place);
- Jurlique (68 Des Voeux Road); and
- Clarins, Clinique and Estée Lauder (all in the IFC Mall, as well as elsewhere).
Large department stores such as Lane Crawford stock most internationally famous cosmetic brands, but you can get many of these discounted at local cosmetics stores. Chief among these are Sasa (www.sasa.com), with its trademark white, black and shocking pink logo, and Strawberry, which also has a large virtual shopping operation at www.strawberrynet.com. It’s unusual in Hong Kong to obtain free take-away samples of creams and perfume in any store unless you’re buying, but Sasa sells sample-size perfumes and creams.
Other cosmetics and fragrance stores in Hong Kong include:
- The Body Shop;
- Red Earth;
- Watsons, which stocks Boots No 7, Simple, Ulay and Neutrogena products;
- Lush (Festival Walk, Admirality MTR Station, UNY Basement, City Plaza 2, etc.);
- Crabtree & Evelyn (Pacific Place, Landmark, etc.);
- L’Occitane En Provence (Pacific Place, etc.); and
- Aveda (Harbour City and concessions in Lane Crawford).
Mannings has low-priced shower gel, soaps, creams and hair colour products. ParknShop and Wellcome run to Badedas and Pears.
Herbal Bliss (Unit 11A, 128 Wellington Street, Central; www.herbalbliss.com.hk; tel. 2676 2885, and Unit 1808, Workingport Commercial Building, 3 Hau Fook Street, TST) sells holistic and organic skincare products and cosmetics.
Spas such as Elemis Day Spa (9/F, Century Square, 1 D’Aguilar Street, Central) and Ellespa (10/F The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central and Shop G106A, The Repulse Bay) sell a range of spa products. For more information on spas, see Chapter Nine, ‘Health’.
Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop sells delicious cakes, whilst Chef Chateau & Coffee Coffer (Shop 112–113, 1/F Sun Hung Kai Centre, 30 Harbour Road) specializes in chocolates, wines, cigars, coffee and confectionery.
You may feel you get enough Chinese food and the last thing you want to do is start cooking it at home, but in case you do, here are a few ideas. Fresh noodles can be bought at many shops around Hong Kong; it’s just a case of finding your nearest. Two that I visit from time to time are in Wanchai: Kang Kee Noodles (4 Tai Wo Street) and Wanchai Ferry Peiking [sic]Dumpling (51 Wanchai Road). Condiments such as soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli oil can be easily obtained from supermarkets.
Wing Wah Cake Shop is an institution and has branches in Mongkok, Whampoa, Airport and so on. Kee Wah, which has a number of branches, including one in the IFC Mall, sells a similar range of egg rolls, mooncakes, butter cookies, etc.
Almost every small town has its string of shops selling dried seafood, but the Queen’s Road West/Des Voeux Road West area in Sheung Wan is noted for its dried fish, bird’s nest and shark’s fin.
The Indian Provisions Store at the end of Bowrington Road in Causeway Bay furthest away from the wet market stocks a large range of spices, rice and condiments.
In addition to City’super, Great and Olivers, the Italian wine shop and delicatessen Castello del Vino (12 Anton Street, Wanchai), stocks a large selection of Italian wines, biscuits, oils, food and hand-painted porcelain. Other Italian food shops include:
- Il Bel Paese (Shop B, G/F, 95 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, 10/F Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road and 25 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai); and
- Viva Italia Supermarket (Shop 12, G/F, Palatial Crest, 3 Seymour Road, Mid-Levels).
Although ParknShop superstores have a Japanese food section that stocks the basic, vital ingredients of Japanese cuisine – rice, rice vinegar, dipping sauces, wasabi, fresh ginger and instant miso soup – you may find it more rewarding to venture into the basement supermarkets of the Japanese department stores Uny and Jusco (Cityplaza and Kornhill Plaza respectively, both near Taikoo Shing MTR). Other branches of Jusco are located at Whampoa (Hung Hom), Tseung Kwan O, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Lok Fu and Tai Po. City’super supermarkets also stock an extensive range of Japanese food and condiments.
The fair number of organic shops in Hong Kong include:
- Health Gate (8/F, Hung Tak Building, 106 Des Voeux Road, Central; tel. 2545 2286);
- Simply Organic (1/F, 21 Canal Road West, Causeway Bay; tel. 2488 0138), which supplies locally grown organic vegetables and will deliver to subscribers;
- Green Concepts (2/F, Prosperous Commercial Building, Causeway Bay); and
- All Things Healthy (Unit 1503, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street; www.allthingshealthy.com.hk).
Alternatively, you can order direct from The Organic Farm in Yuen Long (www.organic-farm.com; tel. 2483 9966). Most of the supermarket superstores also stock organic produce.
If you are lucky, you’ll have a Thai speciality shop near where you live; if you can’t find any, there are three shops on Stone Nullah Street in Wanchai that stock a range of fresh Thai vegetables and cooking ingredients. Large supermarkets such as Great and ParknShop also do packs of fresh and dried Thai herbs, spices and sauces.
The past five years have really seen a boom in the number of Western products available on the shelves of major supermarkets in Hong Kong. Old-timers recall how you could never get hold of things like Oxo cubes and goat’s cheese. These days, you can find Godiva chocolates, Covent Garden soups, Waitrose lemon curd and free-range sausages, gluten-free bread, Kettle Chips and Kellogg’s Fruit ‘n’ Fibre. Needless to say, imported products are generally more expensive than they would be back home.
If you’re planning an impressive dinner party or a romantic candle-lit dinner and want to splurge on expensive food, including nice cakes and bread, most people’s taste for extravagance are catered for by:
- Olivers The Delicatessen (2/F, Prince’s Building, Central);
- Great Food Hall (LG/1, Pacific Place, Admiralty); and
- City’super (Basement 1, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Harbour City, TST and IFC Mall, Central; www.citysuper.com.hk).
These shops source fresh and packaged food from all over the world. Sushi is discounted after 8:00 pm in both places; Great also has discounted fresh fish near the Rotisserie counter.
Supermarkets in the basement of Japanese stores Sogo, Uny and Jusco are also worth a browse. More than one friend rates the bread at the bakery in the basement of Sogo to be the best crusty French stick in town.
For food that doesn’t have to be agonized over, Wellcome (www.wellcomehk.com) and ParknShop (www.parknshop.com), Hong Kong’s two mainstream supermarkets, stock most of what you’ll need to prepare Western or Asian food – go to the superstores to find the largest range of products. They also sell pre-packaged, ready-to-eat hot and cold food. Gateway (Basement, 188 Des Voeux Road, Central) stocks American food.
You may have to shop around to see what you can buy from where – for example, Covent Garden soups are only available at Great, Kettle Chips at ParknShop – but you can find many familiar brands in Hong Kong. Service in all supermarkets is generally of a very high standard: staff are friendly and will pack your bag for you. You can shop in person or go online and have your shopping delivered the same day, free of charge for a minimum amount spent. Price wars and incentives such as free kitchenware have kept costs competitive.
‘Wet market’ is a catch-all term used in Hong Kong for fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and fish sold on individual stalls in designated areas – usually along a street or inside an urban council market building. Most residential areas of Hong Kong have their own wet market. Ideal for singles who want to buy small quantities of food, prices are generally a little lower than supermarkets and products are very fresh. They are also places you can try out your ‘market Cantonese’ and establish good relations with a flower seller – good-quality market flowers can be a lot cheaper than a standard florist.
Large street markets on Hong Kong Island include Graham Street in Central (Mon–Sat), Cross Street in Wanchai (Mon–Fri), Bowrington Road, Causeway Bay (Mon–Sun) and the intersection of Centre Street and Second Street in Sai Ying Pun. On Kowloon side, large wet markets include Yamati Market in Reclamation Street and Nelson Street Market, Mongkok.
The only large-scale wine merchants with stores all over Hong Kong is Watson’s Wine Cellar (www.watsonswine.com), which has shops in Stanley Plaza, Sai Kung, Discovery Bay Plaza and downtown. Boutique Wines (Room 1603, 16/F, Horizon Plaza; www.boutiquewines.com.hk; tel. 2525 3899) specializes in wines from Western Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. Soho Wines and Spirits (37 Staunton Street, 49 Shelley Street and 18–32 Chan Man St, Sai Kung; www.sohowines.com.hk) will deliver for a minimum charge and offer free loan of glasses.
Appellation Limited (1102B, 11/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central; tel. 2866 6335) specializes in New World wines and offers membership of the Appellation Club for $120 per year, entitling members to discounts of 5–15% on wines and accessories.
Other recommended wine shops include Berry Bros (3/F, The Lee Gardens, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay; tel. 2907 2112), which has a fine selection of wines and spirits, wine accessories and dedicated tasting rooms.
Top-notch designer sanitary ware is carried by Colour Living (333 Lockhart Road) and The Professional Depot (371 Lockhart Road) in Wanchai. Fine tubs and kitchenware can also be found at Italian brand Boffi (81 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley). Also good for a browse are:
- Alessi (Shop 247, Prince’s Building, Central);
- Dentro (Shop 4, Tai Sang Commercial Building, 24 Hennessy Road, Wanchai; Shop A, G/F, Winway Building, 50 Wellington Street, Central); and
- Design Gallery (Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai).
Christmas lights, Black & Decker drills, screws, inexpensive self-assembly barbecue sets and a thousand and one other things are sold all over Hong Kong in ‘houseware’ shops. The big ones are the best – packed like treasure troves and likely to eat up hours of your time. It’s useful to locate your local houseware shop early, because they also stock light bulbs, plugs, adapters, mugs, kitchen knives, ironing boards, pet products, plant fertilizer and lots of other stuff that’ll come in handy. One that I enjoy browsing in is Shun Kee Houseware (6 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung).
For new appliances, Fortress (www.fortress.com.hk) is the first place most people turn to. They stock a range of everything electric, from washing machines to TVs, DVD players, MP3 players, digital cameras, vacuum cleaners and food processors, and are competitively priced. They also offer free delivery, a ten-day money-back guarantee policy and a trade-in service for certain goods. Check their website to locate the store nearest you.
Other stores stocking audio-visual equipment include:
- Broadway (Electronics World, 7/F, Times Square);
- Universal Audio Video (Shop 135, Pacific Place);
- Bang & Olufsen (Shop 228A, Level 2, Pacific Place, etc.);
- Bose (Shop 322, Ocean Centre); and
- Sony Shop (Shop 209, Man Yee Building, 60–68 Des Voeux Road) and Sony Style HK (16/F, East Point Centre, Causeway Bay).
There are plenty of small shops specializing in cameras on Stanley Street and Queen Victoria Street in Central and Nathan Road in TST, but be wary of buying at non-accredited shops, especially those on Nathan Road, where tourists are regularly fleeced. Another electronics shopping centre is Sai Yeung Choi Street in Mongkok (MTR Exit E2).
Second-hand electrical appliances, telephones and radios can be found at the flea market in Ap Liu Street, Sham Shui Po or via www.hkclassifieds.com, www.asiaxpat.com.hk, www.red-dots.com or the Sunday Post magazine.
Department stores stocking a range of kitchen appliances include Wing On (211 Des Voeux Road, Sheung Wan MTR Exit B ), Uny, Jusco, Sogo and Mitsukoshi. The prices are pretty similar, but it’s worth looking out for promotions.
Fixtures and fittings
There are a few well-known streets devoted to house hardware. The most convenient for Hong Kong Island is probably Lockhart Road, Wanchai; on the Kowloon side, the Shanghai Street/Fife Street/Portland Street area in Mongkok (near MTR Exit C2) have a quantity of shops stocking these things. Upscale stores in Wanchai include Fired Earth (2404 Dominion Centre, 43–59 Queens Road East). Sisal and parquet flooring are available from some of the interior design stores along Queen’s Road East, Wanchai.
Furniture and furnishings
The South China Morning Post’s Sunday Post magazine is a useful source of information on local interior design and provides leads on shopping and recommended designers.
GOD (Goods Of Desire) is a local designer brand that’s witty, modern and stylish. They stock living room, bedroom and office furniture; kitchenware and bathroom accessories; and printed handbags, amongst other things (48 Hollywood Road, Central, and Leighton Centre, Causeway Bay, etc.; www.god.com.hk). The Causeway Bay store also has a pretty flower and plant design section, as well as Home Cooking, a restaurant that is famed for its mango Napoleon.
Moving down in the design stakes, IKEA has five stores in Hong Kong (www.ikea.com.hk) that stock a whole range of furniture and fittings, along with comprehensive information that allows you to work out the cost of equipping a furnished apartment from scratch. You can also pay to have the parts assembled for you, so you don’t have to get frustrated figuring out the self-assembly plans.
A more cost-cutting option is provided by Pricerite, which has 30 stores in Hong Kong, some of which stock kitchenware as well as bedroom, living room and office furniture. Check the website, www.pricerite.com.hk, for store locations, weekly specials and stock.
Muji (Lee Theatre Plaza, Causeway Bay, etc.) has a range of household goods in rustic colours, such as duvet covers, toothbrush holders, magazine racks and storage boxes. Ito Futon Japanese Furniture (G/F, 64–66 Wellington Street, Central) stocks just what it says.
A fascinating place to browse is Jusco $10 Plaza (9 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay, as well as branches in other parts of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories). The huge floor space is dedicated to cheap Japanese household utensils and tools from plastic toilet seat covers to house decorations, lint remover and shoe brushes. In the same mould is Japan Home Centre – a cheap chain stocking stationery, houseware and kitchenware for $10 an item.
Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau (Aberdeen) contains a mix of furniture, outdoor furniture and antique shops. Amongst the most popular – if you have room for their spacious designs – are Tequila Kola and Banyan Tree, which are also in United Centre and Prince’s Building respectively. For upmarket Italian furniture, browse Prince’s Building or Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley. You will find a glut of lighting shops not far away in Morrison Hill Road.
Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, is the place to go to check out mid-priced products, whether they be Italian-style sofas, Chinese rosewood or rattan furniture, and soft furnishings – custom-made curtains, sofa covers, sisal rugs and carpeting. Avant Garde, a small shop in Pacific Place, sells Designer’s Guild fabrics and functional designware for the home.
Reproduction antique furniture can be found in Hollywood Road (see above under the ‘Antiques’ heading), but locals often go to Macau or Zhuhai for cheaper custom-made reproduction antique Chinese chests, screens, wardrobes, cabinets, bookshelves, tables and chairs. Modern Chinese furniture and mainland knick-knacks as well as general household goods, clothes and food can be found at CRC Department Store (Whampoa Garden, Hunghom).
Shops stocking trendy furniture by international designers include Aluminium (G/F, Shop 1B, Capitol Plaza, 2–10 Lyndhurst Terrace and 2 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay).
Retro furniture can be found at flea + cents (1/F, 34–38 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai). The Hong Kong Trade Development Council Design Gallery (www.hkdesigngallery.com) in Wanchou showcases innovative local products.
Japanese department stores Sogo, Uny and Jusco combine high-quality bone china with a good range of Japanese-style bowls, cutlery, cups and serving utensils. GOD, IKEA (details above) and Wing On (Des Voeux Road, near Sheung Wan MTR) stock tableware and cutlery, whilst at The Panhandler (Shop 318–319, 3/F, Prince’s Building) there is a distinctly professional feel to the implements and crockery.
At the cheaper end, local houseware shops all over Hong Kong sell everything from tea strainers, bamboo steamers and woks to cookie cutters and chopping boards. Shanghai Street (the section nearest Yaumatei MTR) has three or four professional kitchenware shops that stock a large selection of good quality metalware – pans, knives and utensils.
Papers such as the Sunday Morning Post’s Trading Post section and free magazines such as Inside DB(a magazine for Discovery Bay residents) list house sales and can be a good place to pick up cheap second-hand furniture. Websites such as www.asiaxpat.com.hk also have advertisements and e-bay style bartering for second-hand furniture. Discovery Bay residents can check out www.dbay.com.hk.
If you’re not planning to be in Hong Kong long, you may be better off leasing furniture rather than buying. More information on this can be found in Chapter Five, ‘Accommodation’.
Besides the department stores, cotton and lace tablecloths and napkin sets can be bought at embroidery specialist Chun Sang Trading Co. (3–4 Glenealy, Central) and Stanley Market. Bed & Bath (Prince’s Building) and Inside (Prince’s Building, Horizon Plaza and The Repulse Bay www.inside.com.hk) also stock a nice selection of soft furnishings and linens. White Contemporary Homeware (Harbour City; Prince’s Building; 60 Wellington Street) stocks a range of interior furnishings.
Office furniture specialists include Kam Luen Office Furniture (G/F, 135 Con-naught Road Central) and Mister Furniture (APEX) (G/F, 125 Connaught Road, Central; tel. 2581 0323).
Steelcase Worklife Hong Kong (1/F Tai Yip Building, 141 Thomson Road, Wanchai; tel. 2828 6083) offers consulting services and ergonomic furniture designed to make the most of a small space.
Rugs and carpets
You can buy silk and wool Persian rugs from shops along Holly wood Road and Wyndham Street; other shops are located in United Centre, Admiralty. Tai Ping Carpets and Rugs (213 Prince’s Building, Central; www.taiping.com; tel. 2522 7138) sells excellent-quality carpets, and silk hand-woven carpets are available from Fort Street Studio (www.fortstreetstudio.com; tel. 2889 5150).
Jewellery and precious stones
Hong Kong is famous for its ‘999’ pure gold shops. You can visit one of the many gold shop factories in Kowloon and see how it’s fashioned, but to see if Chinese gold is really your style, wander down the Mongkok-to-Jordan stretch of Nathan Road – that’s where you’ll find King Fook, one of the largest gold retailers in the city.
Tiffany, one of the most sought-after brands in Asia, is located in the Landmark Building and Pacific Place. Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier are close by in Prince’s Building, whilst Bulgari sits proudly across the road.
For slightly more affordable jewellery, try a recommended individual jeweller, many of whom are located in TST. One often used by corporate clients is Mariane (G/F Shop 21F, Hankow Road, TST; tel. 2376 1527), which is run by the very affable lady herself. I’m partial – she made me my engagement ring. Another reputable jeweller is the family-run Premier Jewellery (G14–15 Holiday Inn Golden Mile Shopping Mall, 50 Nathan Road; tel. 2368 0003). Founded over forty years ago, the company specializes in ideal cut diamonds and pearls; gemmologist Henry Cheng, who gives jade and pearl appreciation classes, is a keen proponent of educating consumers.
For something sparkly that looks like the real thing but won’t cause such a dent in your wallet, check out the designs at Carat (23 D’Aguilar Street, Central). Mid-price international brands with stores in Hong Kong include Links of London (Shop 141, Pacific Place; Prince’s Building, etc.) and Spanish chain Folli Follie. Local chains include Ma Belle, Just Diamond and Chow Sang Sang (74 Queen’s Road, Central, etc.).
The Jade Market in Kowloon has knick-knacks in jade, coral and semiprecious stones. It is located at the junction of Kansu Street and Battery Street, at the Yau Ma Tei MTR Exit C. Not far away, Nam King Jade Hong (29 Austin Road, Jordan) has a large selection of jade craftwork.
Hong Kong is an important centre for the trading of Tahitian black pearls and Australian pearls, which are auctioned several times a year by Robert Wan of Tahiti Perles and the Australian Paspaley Pearling Company respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, Chinese freshwater pearls can be obtained cheaply at many jewellery shops round the city. Wholesale pearl merchants include Om-International (1/F, 6 Canarvon Road, TST; tel. 2366 3421).
Watch collectors can visit Queen’s Road Central, especially Chow Tai Fook Jewellery (44–46 Queen’s Road) and Vacheron Constantin (Shop A, G/F, Melbourne Plaza, 33 Queen’s Road).
A mobile phone is a must in Hong Kong, and rates and call plans are extremely competitive. Networks include One2Free, 3, Sunday and Trident Telecom, and they have stores all over Hong Kong. Handsets can be bought at many of the electronic shops mentioned above, or at mobile phone specialist shops, particularly around the Times Square area.
Man Lee Tak Car Company is a Yamaha motorcycles agent (G/F, 9 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay; tel. 2576 3079); Motorbikes Ducati Hong Kong has a showroom in Jaffe Road and Kelly Motors (G/F, 19 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay; tel. 2890 9668) sells a range of bikes. Kustom Culture Cycles (Unit 3, G/F, Lai Sun Yuen Long Centre, 27 Wang Yip Street East, Yuen Long; www.kcchk.com; tel. 2540 6596) specializes in custom-built American twin-V motorcycles.
Other shops stocking bike accessories include Sanwa Motorcycle Company (9 Junction Road, Kowloon City).
Music and film
The largest selection of CDs, VCDs and DVDs can be found in HMV (28 Hankow Road, TST; 1/F, Central Building, near The Landmark; 1/F, Queen-sway Plaza; 1/F Style House, Causeway Bay;Telford Plaza, Kowloon Bay). Other chains include Hong Kong Records, which has a branch in Festival Walk with a large classical collection, CD Warehouse and Shun Cheong Records, the largest local distributor of independent labels (www.shuncheongrec.com).
Local online sellers include www.cd-wow.com.hk. Visit the website www.hkclubbing.com for information on DJs and the music scene. Second-hand CDs, VCDs and DVDs can be obtained at Flow (Central and Sai Kung).
You used to be able to buy or rent videos at Blockbuster Video, but they pulled out of Hong Kong a while back because pirate software companies were undercutting their business. A VCD costs about $10 in China and you can pick them up for about $20 at the small cupboard shops around Causeway Bay – try Lockhart Road behind Sogo.
Tom Lee (www.tomleemusic.com) is the largest music chain in Hong Kong, with branches all over the territory selling instruments, music and music lessons. The largest showroom is at 1–9 Cameron Lane, TST. Another popular chain is Parsons Music (www.parsonsmusic.com).
Strings shops include:
- Hong Kong Strings (4/F, Parker House, 72 Queen’s Road Central; tel. 2529 2616);
- Orfeo Strings (Flat 2D, Southorn Mansion, 1 Luard Road; tel. 2866 4328);
- Ngai Violins (26 Po Tung Road, Sai Kung; tel. 2792 9199); and
- Violmaster Studio (G/F, 14 Wood Road, Wanchai, tel. 2870 2177).
An excellent selection of sheet music is available at Rhythm Music House (3/F, 2 Queen Victoria Street, Central; tel: 2801 4939). A list of further instrument shops around Hong Kong can be found at www.hkpo.com. Click through ‘Member’s Corner’ to ‘Club Bravo’ and then on ‘Discounts around Town’.
You may have brought a pet with you from home, or you may like to acquire a pet while you’re here. The SPCA (www.spca.org.hk) can provide advice about keeping pets in Hong Kong and seeks animal sponsors, dog walkers and foster homes for animals on a regular basis. They can also offer veterinary, grooming and boarding services to members’ pets.
Pet product shops include Honey Pet Shop (Shop 1A–B, Wood Road, Wanchai), Central Pets Supply (270–276 Queen’s Road) and www.creaturecomforts.com.hk (tel. 9773 0372).
Pharmacy counters can be found at larger branches of Watsons and Mannings, or you may prefer to visit independent pharmacies such as Victoria Dispensary (Theatre Lane, Central). Eu Yan Sang (G/F, 152–156 Queen’s Road, Central, etc.) is one of the leading dispensers of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), herbal infusions, tonics and health-protecting soups.
There are several nurseries along Hiram’s Highway on the way into Sai Kung, including Green House Nursery and KK Horticulture (Tau Chung Hau Road – a left turn just past Pak Sha Wan), Sai Kung; tel. 2792 7440). Most will deliver, for a fee; expect to pay more to get plants carried up flights of stairs.
Downtown, you will find Chun Hing Gardening & Landscape inside the Parsi cemetery on Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley. Flower Market Road in Prince Edward is famous for its flower shops, but it can be a bit far to travel home with your blooms unless you’ve got transport or live over Kowloon side. Gardening supplies can be bought at hardware shops. Agnès B Fleuriste (Festival Walk) offers beautiful arrangements.
Printed materials and pens
Lee Tung Street in Wanchai is full of small printing operations that can print anything from name cards to wedding invitations and pamphlets. There are also lots of copy shops in this neighbourhood.
For elegant stationery and beautiful greetings cards, try Papyrus (U/L Pacific Place, Prince’s Building and IFC Mall, etc.). Greeting cards can also be found at Kalms (www.kalms.com.hk), selected branches of Watsons, Mannings and Loft (inside Seibu). For Cross, Parker and other brandname pens, visit Pens Museum (1/F, Convention Plaza, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, TST; K3 Citylink Plaza, Shatin; and 318 Telford Plaza Phase II, Kowloon Bay, etc.).
Whilst out shopping you’ll most likely need to use the public washroom facilities, although you can always use those at one of the hotels inconspicuously. Most large shopping malls are equipped with clean, well-maintained ladies’ and men’s washrooms, including Pacific Place (1/F, near HSBC), and at various locations in the basement and on upper floors in IFC Mall, Peak Tower and Times Square. In the Pedder Building, toilets are locked, so ask to borrow a key from the shop owner. Lane Crawford in Central has a very nice ladies’ cloakroom on the first floor behind an unobtrusive mirrored door.
For information on sports clubs, see Chapter Nineteen, ‘Sports’.
- Bicycle World (15 Wood Road, Wanchai; tel. 2892 2299).
- Shun Lee Bicycle Company (G/F, 2A Lucky Plaza Commercial Complex, Shatin; tel. 2695 7195).
- Flying Ball Bicycle Shop (478 Castle Peak Road, Cheung Sha Wan; tel. 2381 3661).
- Bunns Diving Equipment (tel. 2558 9345).
- Pro-Dive (127 Lockhart Road, Wanchai; tel. 2890 4889).
- The Dive Shop HK (375 Portland Street, Mongkok; tel. 2397 6222).
- Po Kee Fishing Tackle Company (6 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan; tel. 2543 7541).
- World Top Sports Goods (49 Hankow Road, TST; tel. 2376 2937; 6/F, Times Square; Sai Yee Street, Mongkok).
- Super Golf (6 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay; tel. 2808 4668; 1/F, Oterprise Square, 26 Nathan Road; tel. 2368 7654).
- Metro Golf (Southland Building, Sheung Wan; tel. 2537 6829).
- AbcustomGolf (1795 C, Po Tung Road, Sai Kung; tel. 2194 4977) offers club repair, custom club building and components.
- Bits & Boots Saddlery (HK) (1721B, 17/F, Star House Arcade, 3 Salisbury Road, TST; tel. 2735 0123).
- Chamonix Alpine Equipment (G/F, On Yip Building, 395 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei; tel. 2388 3626).
Ski-ing and snowboarding
- Fun N Snow (tel. 2866 7847) sells ski equipment and has seasonal opening hours.
- Island Wake (20 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay; tel. 2895 0022) sells snowboards.
- Island Wake (20 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay; tel. 2815 0027).